Mobility Guardian is Here
By Col Rebecca Sonkiss, 62d Airlift Wing commander and JBLM Air Force Senior Component Commander
/ Published July 30, 2017
Thank you for the extremely warm welcome that my family and I received to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, I cannot tell you how excited I am to be back in the Pacific Northwest and be a part of this incredible Joint Team. It is an honor to join such an outstanding group of professionals and I am extremely humbled to serve as the Commander of the 62d Airlift Wing and represent all of Team McChord as the Air Force Senior Service Component Commander on JBLM. I look forward to my time in command and working alongside the Joint Mission and Installation commanders, for you, the Soldiers and Airmen that make JBLM the Premier Power Projection Platform in the Pacific.
To continue the success that we have seen at JBLM, we are going to hit the ground running. Beginning this weekend, the first aircraft participating in Exercise Mobility Guardian will arrive at McChord Field. Their arrival will mark the beginning of a new era of combat airlift in the Pacific Northwest as JBLM hosts Air Mobility Command’s flagship exercise. As General Everhart, Air Mobility Command commander, declared, "[i]nteroperability with our joint and allied partners is crucial to be able to move people, planes and cargo into contested environments around the world," he elaborated that "Mobility Guardian will be our premier exercise for U.S. and allied units to train together and improve joint capabilities. We'll train like we fight." This capstone will be the Mobility Air Forces’ premier exercise. JBLM will host over 3,500 personnel from 35 partner nations to exercise every facet of Air Mobility Command’s mission in a true coalition and joint environment. JBLM is the perfect location for this event as joint training is commonplace with the 62d Airlift Wing and I Corps often collaborating to maximize our resources. I cannot wait for the opportunity to showcase the strides in interoperability that we have made here at JBLM to the rest of the Mobility world. Thank you for all the hard work you have done so far putting this exercise together and for all the hard work yet to come, I know this will be an enormous success.
As we enter the execution phase of Exercise Mobility Guardian, culminating more than a year of planning, its success will depend on the entirety of the Soldiers and Airmen assigned to JBLM. Whether you have a direct role or not, your efforts over the next two weeks will make an exercise of this scale possible. You can expect that things will look slightly different around the base, especially on McChord Field. Hours at many establishments will be altered, as well as traffic revisions to help alleviate the daily influx of participants. In the local community, you can expect lines will be longer at restaurants, gas stations, and other facilities so I ask that you exercise patience and plan ahead during the course of Mobility Guardian while taking the time to welcome our guests and provide the best environment for their success.
Thank you for your mission focus, razor sharp professionalism, wingman ethos, and all you and your families do for our nation every day. I am excited to represent Team McChord and I look forward to serving you. Let’s get to work!